16 days of Action (1) against domestic violence is approaching us, starting from the 25th of November and running until the 10th December 2019.
The idea of this campaign is to support adults/professionals within the workplace who have been or are exposed to domestic violence. Experiencing domestic violence is traumatic, for all those involved and those who may be exposed to it, such as children within the household.
How Domestic Violence Impacts on Children and Young People
Information gathered by the domestic violence organisation Women’s Aid (2018) (2) states that 1 in 7 (14.7%) of young people/ children have lived with domestic violence at some point throughout their childhoods. The Royal College of Psychiatrists (2017) (3) states that children living in homes where domestic violence is prevalent, are likely to witness at least three quarters of violent incidents and half of these children are likely to be subjected to physical and emotional abuse themselves. Experiencing domestic violence and the trauma connected to this type of violence and abuse during childhood, is classed as an ‘Adverse Childhood Experience’ (ACEs).
ACEs are known to have short-term and long-term impacts on both the emotional and physical health throughout childhood and into adulthood. UNICEF’s research (4) conducted in 2006 supports this, stating that exposure to domestic violence can lead to children struggling to concentrate at school and are more likely to participate in risky behaviours, or suffer from depression and anxiety.
What Can Professionals Do?
It is important that as professionals we promote the idea that the conversation around domestic violence should not remain hidden and shameful. It is important that children and families who are experiencing DV are allowed and encouraged to talk through their experiences with a trusted person or professional.
As professionals, we need to be observant and aware of indicators of abuse such as DV, some schools have instilled Operation Encompass into their procedures to keep them alert and aware of DV incidents, allowing them to intervene early and offer support when necessary.
Operation Encompass (5) allows for multi-agency information sharing between the police and schools. Information is sent confidentially to schools and academies informing them of any incidents of domestic violence that have been reported to the police. School staff can then act quickly and offer the necessary support to those effected.
To read more into operation encompass, visit their website.
Damien Munroe – Safeguarding Conference
If you would like more information on the use of Encompass then have a look at our annual safeguarding conference. One of the workshops within this conference is delivered by Damian Munroe, a ‘Young Person’s Violence Adviser’ who is passionate about the use of encompass.
Damian’s workshop will provide you with the knowledge of how to support young people who have witnessed and experienced domestic violence as well as how to promote and recognise healthy relationships in young people. Read more about Damian’s workshop and the other workshops we have to offer.
- 16 days of Action https://16daysofaction.co.uk/the-campaign/
- Refuge 2017 For Women and Children Against Domestic Violence: https://www.refuge.org.uk/our-work/forms-of-violence-and-abuse/domestic-violence/domestic-violence-the-facts/
- The Royal College of Psychiatrists (2017) Domestic violence and abuse – the impact on children and young people – https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/parents-and-young-people/information-for-parents-and-carers/domestic-violence-and-abuse-effects-on-children
- UNICEF – Behind Closed Doors. The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children https://www.unicef.org/media/files/BehindClosedDoors.pdf 5. Operation Encompass – https://www.operationencompass.org/